Brain brakes?

| Thursday, August 11, 2011

Researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology say once a driver’s brain decides to apply the brakes, it takes thirteen one-hundreths of a second for the foot to react.

So they attached electrodes to volunteers’ scalps and put them in a driving simulator in which the brake was hard-wired directly to the brain.

The volunteers were told to stay 66 feet behind the car in front of them, which was randomly hitting its brakes. The results showed that at 65 miles an hour they cut 12 feet off their stopping distance.

The Berlin Institute for Technology team’s study appears in the Journal of Neural Engineering. The next step, the researchers say, is to test it on the highway.

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